Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

TO REVISE AND CODIFY THE NATIONALITY LAWS OF

THE UNITED STATES INTO A COMPREHENSIVE NATIONALITY CODE

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 1940

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION,

Washington, D.O. The committee met in executive session at 11:30 a. m., Hon. John Lesinski presiding.

Mr. REES. When we closed the discussion on this bill I think the record probably shows that we were approving the code with the exception of the amendments, two amendments that were to be offered. I am asking unanimous consent to open the bill for consideration of one further amendment. It is a rather brief one.

Section 325 provides that a person who has served honorably or with good conduct for an aggregate period of at least 3 years on board any vessel of the United States Government other than in the United States Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard,” and so forth. I move that we make that 5 years. I see no reason why we should give this particular group a period of 3 years during which to live as American citizens, and provide for 5 years for other groups.

Mr. LESINSKI. The present law fixes 3 years.
Mr. REES. That is correct. I want to fix it at 5 years.

Mr. Mason. I move the amendment offered by Mr. Rees be favorably adopted.

Nr. LESINSKI. Motion made and supported.

Mr. Rees. There is another amendment to section 331, on page 39, in line 8 thereof, to strike out the word "wo" and insert in lieu thereof "not less than two nor more than ten.”

Under the old law, until 1906, a person who declares his intention to become a citizen of the United States could, any time thereafter, file a declaration, provided he complied with the law, and go along and become a citizen of the United States. In other words, the declaration was good as long as he had it. In 1906 the law was changed so that the declaration of intention was good for a period of only 7 years. In the subcommittee hearings I suggested we go back to the 7-year period, but the Departments say that the terms of 7 years, limiting it to 7 years, is a little bit awkward. They say 10 years is a little bit easier to compute. So I am making it 10 years because I do not think that a person should be permitted to carry a declaration of intention around for all his life and finally come into court to complete his citizenship.

Mr. Mason. We agreed on 10 years yesterday.
Mr. AUSTIN. It makes it easier ?

Mr. REES. It makes it easier because of this difference: Under the present law a man who has a declaration of intention, and wants his certificate of naturalization, goes into court and does not file his petition for citizenship; he files an application first. Sometimes it takes the Government quite a while to get around to the place so he can actually get his petition filed. From there on they would take their time. They took their time before the petition was filed and these things have to be straightened out before he actually gets his petition filed. They say that the term of 7 years is a little bit confusing to the fellow who really makes an honest endeavor to come into court and become a citizen.

Mr. ALLEN. Does that make it easier, or harder, or what? I would say it makes it a little bit easier than the 7-year period, and it makes it harder than the code that was agreed on by the various departments.

Mr. AUSTIN. Some are here 30 or 40 years and are not able to make up their mind. You are asking them to make up their mind; they have got to make it up quick.

Mr. LESINSKI. You have people coming in here from foreign lands with very little education and you expect them to absorb this language and read and write it perfectly in a year or two? It is impossible. There is no chance of that.

Mr. Mason. Mr. Chairman, I move that the amendment offered by Mr. Rees making it a 10-year period be adopted. Mr. LESINSKI. Are there any objections? Mr. MASON. I want to vote on the 10-year period.

Mr. ALLEN. I do not want to agree to it. We are making everything easy, easy, easy, and we are easing ourselves out of a country,

Mr. AUSTIN. I wish to be registered in favor of a 7-year limit. Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. We compromised on 10 years. I do not think we figured it was vital.

Mr. Rees. If you want to make it 7 years, all right.
Mr. LESINSKI. The law today is 7 years.
Mr. REES. I still offer the amendment to adopt a 10-year period.

Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. It takes a number of years to qualify in Americanization classes.

Mr. ALLEN. An alien ought to be able to qualify in 7 years. Mr. SHAUGHNESSY. If you could go to some of these alien classes with me, Mr. Allen, you would be very much impressed with the sincerity of these aliens that attend these classes religiously, and you would appreciate some of the handicaps some of them have. It does give them a little bit more time to qualify.

Mr. Mason. I have struggled with individuals in these Americanization classes. I was considered a pretty fair teacher. In 5 years, I did not get them ready in that time, with the same individual repeating.

Mr. AUSTIN. I withdraw my 7 years.
Mr. LESINSKI. The motion made by Mr. Rees is supported.
The ayes have it.

Mr. Rees. I propose an amendment to section 332, on page 42, in line 11, to include after the word “two" the words "nor more than ten."

Mr. MASON. I move that it be adopted.
Mr. LESINSKI. The motion made by Mr. Mason is supported.

Mr. REES. The following should be substituted in lieu of section 305, beginning on page 9 and running over to page 10:

No person shall hereafter be naturalized as a citizen of the United States

(a) Who advises, advocates, or teaches, or who is a member of or affiliated with any organization, association, society, or group that advises, advocates, or teaches opposition to all organized government, or

(b) Who believes in, advises, advocates, or teaches, or who is a member of or affiliated with any organization, association, society, or group that believes in, advises, advocates, or teaches :

1. The overthrow by force or violence of the Government of the United States or of all forms of law; or

2. The duty, necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assaulting or killing of any officer or officers (either specific individuals or of officers generally) of the Government of the United States or any other organized government, because of his or their official character; or

3. The unlawful damage, injury, or destruction of property; or

4. Sabotage; or (c) Who writes, publishes, or causes to be written or published, or who knowingly circulates, distributes, prints, or displays, or knowingly causes to be circulated, distributed, printed, published, or displayed, or who knowingly has in his possession for the purpose of circulation, distribution, publication, or display any written or printed matter advising, advocating, or teaching opposition to all organized government, or advising, advocating, or teaching :

1. The overthrow by force or violence of the Government of the United States or of all forms of law; or

2. The duty, necessity, or propriety of the unlawful assaulting or killing of any officer or officers (either of specific individuals or of cfficers generally) of the Government of the United States or of any other organized government; or

3. The unlawful damage, injury, or destruction of property; or

4. Sabotage; or (d) Who is a member of or affiliated with any organization, association, society, or group that writes, circulates, distributes, prints, publishes, or displays, or causes to be written, circulated, distributed, printed, published, or displayed, or that has in its possession for the purpose of circulation, distribution, publication, issue, or display, any written or printed matter of the character described in subdivision (c). For the purpose of this section:

1. The giving, loaning, or promising of money or anything of value to be used for the advising, advocacy, or teaching of any doctrine above enumerated shall constitute the advising, advocacy, or teaching of such doctrine; and

2. The giving, loaning, or promising of money or anything of value to any organization, association, society, or group of the character above described shall constitute affiliation therewith ; but nothing in this paragraph shall be

taken as an exclusive definition of advising, advocacy, teaching, or affiliation. The provisions of this section shall be applicable to any applicant for naturalization who at any time within a period of ten years immediately preceding the filing of the petition for naturalization is, or has been, found to be within any of the classes enumerated in this section, notwithstanding that at the time petition is filed he may not be included in such classes.

Mr. MACIEJEWSKI. I move the adoption of the amendment.
Mr. AUSTIN. I support the motion.
Mr. MACIEJEWSKI. The motion is supported.

Mr. AUSTIN. Just one question comes to me, Mr. Rees. In all the arguments of my 45 years here in Congress on questions pertaining to subversive activities in my opinion the ultimate of stress has always been laid on the overthrowing by force or violence. Now, there are other ways of overthrowing a government than by force or violence and as I understand it the Communist Party is pursuing that particular method.

Mr. Mason. They advocate the overthrow by violence. Mr. AUSTIN. For instance, by subverting labor unions, Mr. Mason. To get them ready for an overthrow by violence. Mr. AUSTIN. That is part of the program. Mr. MACIEJEWSKI. Mr. Rees gave us that, Mr. REES (reading): Anyone who advises, advocates, or teaches, or who is a member of or affiliated with any organization, association, society, or group that advises, advocates, or teaches opposition to all organized government.

Mr. VAN ZANDT. Or who disbelieves in it.

Mr. SCHULTE. What about an Italian who comes over here and says the Italian form of government is wrong and does not believe in the principles of Mussolini ?

Mr. DICKSTEIN. That is free speech, on which you can not legislate. Mr. AUSTIN. Why don't you make it applicable to the Government of the United States in every instance instead of “organized government" ?

Mr. LESINSKI. A motion is on the table and supported and is ready for discussion.

Mr. Mason. Under the discussion I wish to say that the present law as now on the books stresses anarchists, who are against all forms of government. And this includes that group along with those who preach the overthrow of government by force. I think that this is so comprehensive that it will include anarchists or Communists, Fascists, Nazis, and every other one.

· Mr. AUSTIN. If you make it applicable to the Government of the United States I will stay with it.

Mr. Rees. This is applicable.
Mr. AUSTIN. Or who does not like organized government.
Mr. SCHULTE. "Organized government” it says.

Mr. AUSTIN. Under the terms of this you would be able to prosecute a man in this country who does not advocate the overthrow by force of this country but does of Italy.

Mr. VAN ZANDr. Such a prosecution would be a violation of freedom of speech. Mr. SCHULTE. You can say what you want but every one of us,

if we were not American citizens, under this law, by condemning nazism or communism are making ourselves liable not to become citizens of the United States because that would be against organized government.

Mr. Mason. That is your inference from reading the bill. It is not there.

Mr. LESINSKI. As I understood it, the way Mr. Rees read it, if the Republicans advocated the overthrow of the New Deal they would be also liable.

Mr. Rees. You are reading into that something impossible.
Mr. SCHULTE. We are all in accord with my remarks.

Mr. AUSTIN. Under the New Deal it is not organized government. It is most disorganized.

Mr. SCHULTE. There you would be liable again. I am in sympathy with what Mr. Rees wants to do. I would say put in the United States form of Government.

« ZurückWeiter »